All these symbols have been painted on the road at the Shachikul Monastery in Nubra Valley, Ladakh
The endless knot. 'Shrivasta'
The conch. 'Sankha’
The lotus. 'Padma'
The Choktse or low, oblong table with a carving of the Buddhist symbols, is popular with tourists
A union of all eight symbols creates a beautiful motif in the centre of the table
The victory banner or Dhwaja
The golden fishes - 'Suvarnamatsya'
The lotus. 'Padma'
The treasure vase - 'Kalasha'
Out of eight, six symbols are painted on a door in the Stok Palace where the royal family of Ladakh resides
Buddhism has influenced the life and thinking of the people in Ladakh owing to its widespread presence in this region. The locals come across as irrepressibly happy, with a strong sense of self and remain connected to their land having developed a close bond with their natural surroundings. One of the practices is the incorporation of the Buddhist Symbols into their landscape, the architecture and other objects.
There are eight auspicious symbols in Tibetan Buddhism. Each one is said to represent a Buddhist teaching and when they appear together their powers get multiplied. They can be painted on the road, on doors, carved onto tables and so on.
Deriving from Indian iconography these are the symbols:
The parasol or ‘chattra’ represents royalty and spiritual power. The fishes or ‘suvarnamatsya’ depict good fortune, while the treasure vase or ‘kalasha’ symbolizes spiritual and material abundance. Spiritual purity is characterized by a lotus or ‘padma’. While a conch shell or ‘sankha’ - illustrates the fame of Buddha's teachings. The complex geometrical endless knot or ‘shrivasta’ shows the infinite wisdom of Buddha. A ‘Dhvaja’ or victory banner signifies the victory of wisdom over ignorance. And finally, the ‘Dharmachakra’ that symbolizes Buddhism as a whole